7 – Drg Drsya Viveka (13): What Created the Universe? Who or What is the Creator of Time & Space?


Lecture 7 talks about Maya's projecting power, the capacity to manifest the world and sentient beings. Difference between Maya (all knowledge, all power) and Ishvara (cause of universe).

Source: Drg Drsya Viveka

VERSE 13-21: Cause of Samsara and its Remedy – Power of Maya

VERSE 13: Maya’s Projecting Power

शक्ति-द्वयम् हि मायाया विक्षेप-आवृति-रूपकम् | विक्षेप-शक्तिः-लिङ्गादि-ब्रह्माण्ड-अन्तम् जगत् सृजेत् ||
śakti-dvayam hi māyāyā vikṣepa-āvṛti-rūpakam | vikṣepa-śaktiḥ-liṅgādi-brahmāṇḍa-antam jagat sṛjet ||
Indeed, maya has two powers of the nature of projecting and veiling. The projecting power creates the world, beginning from the subtle body (the experiencer) to the total universe (the experienced).

[COMMENATRY: Ignorance about one's true nature, caused by māyā's concealing power (āvaraṇa śakti), is the cause. To explain ignorance, creation is analysed. Brahman is the only truth, the world is name-form (nāma-rūpa). This nāma-rūpa was unmanifest in Brahman before creation, called māyā. Māyā has two powers – projecting (vikṣepa) and concealing (āvaraṇa). At creation, vikṣepa projects the manifest universe with individuals (jīvas).  Āvaraṇa then conceals the truth about creation and the self from the jīva. This causes self-ignorance in the jīva about its nature. Jīva is a mixture of satyam (Brahman) and mithyā (ego-mind). It falsely identifies with the mithyā parts. Right knowledge is recognizing one's true self as Brahman, not the ego-mind-body.]

  • What accounts for manifestation? How did whole jagat (time-space, and objects of universe) come into being? It comes from Maya.
  • What is Maya?
    • Śakti dvayam: Two fold capacity: Vikṣepa (capacity to project or manifest), and āvṛti (within the projection, certain information is blocked).
    • From Vikṣepa, come entire brahmāṇḍa (universe; both subtle and gross).
    • Female has potential to be a mother. For potential to be there, you have to be there first. And are you only the potential? No. Potential is one of your incidental blessings; you are much more then potential. So it’s a satya-mithya Potential can’t exist without the entity, and entity is independent of potential.
    • In same way, Awareness has capacity to project whole universe. Capacity can’t exist without Awareness, and Awareness is independent of the capacity.
    • Awareness with Maya has capacity to manifest and unmanifest the universe. When it manifests, it’s not random, by highly intelligent. It is sarvajna (knowledge) & sarvaśakti (power). When the universe has become manifest, the knowledge & power gets a new name called “Ishvara”. Just like you take name “mother” in reference to created child.
    • ORDER: Awareness is the Reality. It has power (maya) to manifest. When it becomes manifest as time-space and names-forms, it’s called Ishvara (cause of universe).
      • ADVAITA: So whole thing is Advaita. They are not different thing. Awareness gains different names from standpoint of different phenomena.
    • So all forms created are manifestation of knowledge.
      • EG:
        • 1 year study human anatomy. 5 years doctor. 2 years specialize ophthalmologist (eyes). 2 years just the retina. So eye already came intricately put together. The eye further comes with infinite variations.
        • Brain structure is knowledge. Solar system knowledge.
        • At every level of mithya assemblage, it’s knowledge. Particles gather to become atoms > molecule > tissue > cell > heart.
        • So we observe: Universe comes with incredible precision and intricate connections. Infinite differences and connections to everything else. All we do is depend on and explore what’s given. We didn’t participate in any of it. You and I both depend on sun, plant-kingdom for survival.
    • When did all-knowledge/power begin? It’s beginningless because it is that from which time-space began. It is the truth of time/space. Beginning is there for time-space-universe, but not for Ishvara/Awareness. All Knowledge/power always being present, is creates a cyclical creation, meaning it manifests/unmanifests repeatedly.
  • ANALOGY FOR UNDERSTANDING ISHVARA BETTER: One way to understand Ishvara is with beads-thread. Beads can be any sentient/insentient form. The thread are laws/orders that hold everything in place and create a cause-effect relationships. Such as gravity, ethical values, biological laws (governs plant kingdom; each plant using sun to produce different nutrients), psychological laws.
    • TRUSTEE VS OWNERSHIP: Knowing this, makes you lose sense of ownership, and become entrusted with what’s given (body/mind). Just as land is given to you under your care, on which you can create a life to pursue your endeavors. Similarly, relationship changes with body-mind (EG: less self-critical, used for what it was given for, not indifferent to it). Whereas it take ownership, subject to self-abuse.
    • Therefore to understand Ishvara is to understand your position as a trustee.
      • So far, we’ve seen, I am not body-mind, but Awareness. However doesn’t explain how body-mind, time-space came. We’ve seen Awareness has capacity to manifest the jagat.
      • Capacity is not intrinsic, but incidental (doesn’t mean “accidental”, but borrowed or dependent).
        • Intrinsic EG: Sweet is intrinsic to Sugar. They are one and the same.
        • Incidental EG: Fire > grill > pan > water (it’s heat is incidental or borrowed; not intrinsic). OR blue-paint is incidental to the house.
      • Capacity includes vikṣepa (projecting power / capacity to manifest). This capacity created 5 elements, starting with space (all pervading and doesn’t take on attributes of what it pervades).
        • Space is closest to Awareness, but different:
          • Space requires or is dependent on Awareness.
          • Space changes between Waking/Dream space. Means it can be bend, as case of curved space per Einstein’s General Relativity.
          • There’s no satya-mithya relationship between space and other 4 elements.
      • Ultimately universe is nothing but knowledge/power which has capacity to manifest concrete names/forms made of 5 elements.
      • It’s here, pervading the universe. Whole universe alive with intelligence which you are part of and connected to.
      • A book once said modern depression is contributed to loosing connection with divinity. EG: Mountain is seen as dead. Sun is just hydrogen/helium gas. Whereas if bring divinity into creation, then won’t conclude life is meaningless, and the very intelligence is in your body-mind. Seeing Isvara in your body, positively affects your self-esteem.
      • Why don’t we see this knowledge/power? Because attention is on forms, and not appreciating the intelligence that’s putting together the forms.


Course was based on [1] Drig Drishya Viveka book by Swami Tejomayananda [2] Book by Swami Nikhilananda [3] Neema Majmudar.

Recorded 17 Jan, 2024

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